As my training log indicates, I have not really squatted much at all this year. My stomach was just so bad that wasn’t possible. And then three months off for the corrective surgery ... a few days checking movement patterns... and today we finally gave it a try.
Does it count as a barbell squat if there were no plates at all on the bar?
Anyway, it was really frustrating. Everything about it felt foreign. It took a great deal of intent to get everything in some sort of functional form. So it’s time to post!
Why? Not to mope in my frustration. But because I know this will pass. And when it does I can look at this and remember how incredibly tough it was today. The best encouragement that you can take something from tough to doable is that you have done it before.
The chart mostly speaks for itself. But I also told Jerimiah that I'd really like to be a bit brave on a last attempt in 2018. Not that the last on any of these above were guaranteed, but they had been done before a few times.
And we aren't currently setting a date target other than "next year". We'll just work on progress and keep checking in and when it seems within reach, sign up for a meet and to a 3 month (probably) prep cycle.
I said the same last year, but by November was desperate to get signed to a meet to have it firm. I'll try to exercise patience and remember that more meets are added regularly and I won't miss out. Then I can try to be a bit more organic with the planning, which may be helpful given my travel schedule can be hard to have any long term insight into or control over.
HERE WE GO!!!!
I had a Personal Trainer for over a year. And then I had a coach. It was an easy transition because it’s the same guy. Let’s call him Jerimiah… (Because that’s his name….)
In March 2016 , spurred on by a growing love of powerlifting and Jerimiahs recent place (the TOP) at Nationals…. I decided to participate in a summer Powerlifting meet. The London Open, to be specific. Initially, I only asked him to help get me ready. But when I eventually (reluctantly) asked if he’d be there to support me, he was surprised I had considered that there’d be any other option. And at that moment, it started feeling just a bit different.
In the past, when he said “we”, I often laughed. “We can do this”, he’d say. And I’d think “We? I don’t see you picking up the other end of the barbell! Is that some training-speak to encourage me?” But not long after we started prepping for the meet; it really felt like WE! And now, the value I put into this relationship is kind of shocking. Personally, in some ways he remains nearly a stranger. But I trust him with a lot. I rely on his guidance, support and feedback. So how did it become “we”, exactly? Well, here is what I see now:
So has his approach changed? Actually, I have to sheepishly admit that it probably hasn’t. Those things actually didn’t start when I committed to the meet: they were there before. It was my perspective that changed. Yes, I did specifically ask for him to ‘have my back’ and got his commitment. But the only real change in approach was mine. So I had a coach all along, but didn’t know it. My bad.
And now I look around at people giving me feedback in my personal life or at work, and think: Maybe they are my coaches too? The push to own something. Or the encouragement to give it up. The dialogue to help me sort out how I feel, and what’s on my mind. Suggestions to consider modifying my approach. A pat on the back for a little win...... Sound familiar? It’s the SAME things I listed above that I value in my relationship with Jerimiah. I don’t always take the feedback from others as easily as I do with Jerimiah. Maybe its because it does not feel like “personal coaching” because of their approach. But maybe it’s also because of my perspective. And that, I can change.
Icon made http://www.flaticon.com/authors/nikita-golubev
We just wrapped on a vacation to COUPLES .... and it was such an amazing rest. We are not really much for "adventure vacations" per se. We already really enjoy our life/lives and aren't looking to a vacation to fill it up with parties, thrills or physical exertion. A real vacation for us is a rest. Not just the lack of daily obligations, but almost a mandate to just "chill out already". Garth already has that down pat, but I struggle. It would be easy for me to find stuff to fill the time. And for some, that might be just what the doctor ordered, but for me; a good vacation is a serious reboot; complete with some time just being....being. Still. Quiet. Sometimes listening to music, or reading. Or a walk. But mostly just a nice slow crawl, a slower pace in the brain, and a release of "need to be doing" for my heart.
And I sit here on our patio for the last 1/2 hour before leaving, feeling grateful for this opportunity, and equally thankful for the life we return to. There is not even a hint of wistfulness about leaving.
All of this leaves me feeling immensely blessed and grateful.
We ease back in tomorrow. Laundry. I'll go to the gym and train. Then back to work on Thursday; full steam ahead.
My meet is around 14 weeks out. I have a whole cycle to work through, and hypertrophy starts tomorrow. I am eager for the work, for the inevitable progress, for the opportunity to practice. For the endorphins. :)
And work is really humming. I love the product and it's shaping up to be a fun and challenging 2017.
Yeah, I know that's a cat. But I was thinking ... if "hair of the dog" is taking some more of what made you busted in the first place... then "hair of the cat" could be something that should mess you up worse but fixes you. Right?
Anyway... I think we've made a breakthrough on the back spasms. My RMT had mentioned that more ballistic style stretching might be better, and to save the long holds for after I work out. The idea being that I'm relaxing the muscle right before a big load, and that could be what was driving me to cramp up. So JW incorporated a few more things in to the warm up last week and it made a difference. I've even been "Frankenstein walking" around work (Hidden hallway… But it probably has cameras) and it's made a massive difference. Today we added a few more things. Had the best day yet.
Super relieved. Based on the numbers, you couldn't exactly call it an excellent session under the bar but, it felt good. More importantly, I feel good. I think I was going into a bit of withdrawal...
Jerimiah gave me some new routines ("JW") to include in the days I am on my own. It's a nice change-up. I had his "make your arms cry" routine, but it's been a number of months, and (as you may have guessed from the name), is just arms. :)
These 2 new ones (two!) are more diverse, and HARD. It's 45 minutes to get through the 5 different activities, even if I super-set some. So I need to tighten up on the rest between sets a bit (which is do-able) in order to include some cardio in there.
I am pretty happy with it so far, although it's just been a few times. But having something new has given me a little boost in the head space around these sessions, which are typically 2-3 days a week.
I don't know what it will do for actual gains yet, but I have a feeling that it will make a difference.
I am struggling with the weight a bit though. I put a few pounds on at Christmas, and it's sticking around. I started tracking food again yesterday, and we'll see what my intake is, and what kind of deficit I'll want to consider to start heading back down towards by goal weight. It's obvious that it won't be as-is, which I dread a bit. But I also want to shed some fat, so something will have to change, or I just sit in the middle between having my cake and eating it too.
As I mentioned in the last post, we're into more volume. Not what most would call high reps (10) but definitely not what I do most of the time. I really noticed the fatigue when training by myself today. While I felt good going in, my performance was not so hot.
Anyway....We do it again this week. And "We'll try for 12 if we can. But it's ok if we can't." ~Jerimiah
And after, I was thinking...how do I know if I can or can't? With the high intensity stuff, it's easy enough to tell. Oversimplifying, but either the weight is going to move, or it's not. But squatting for 10 this past week never felt like I could not drive the weight up. Legs and glutes etc were a-ok. But at the top, getting ready for the next rep was ....I am looking for a word only slightly less emphatic than "excruciating". My heart was pounding, and I wanted to heave out my lungs. And my breakfast.
And then I figured if I have to ask that question (should I go for 2 more, or not), then I guess I should. After all, I know how to bail, and what that feels like, so it'll all be ok.
I texted my little self-talk to Jerimiah.... ( I'm sure he loves that...) and ended with what chrystalized for me only as I typed it.
"Seems like now our sessions are a lot more work and a lot less fear."
And that idea has stuck with me all weekend. I have less fear because of the work we have done. A trust in him, in the process, but most of all in myself. I am going to be ok. I can handle this. And I can only work this hard because I've left fear behind. Well, at least a lot if it. And I did have a lot. :).
It's a virtuous cycle.... I can feel it. And I built it.
My husband ends all of his sessions with Jerimiah by saying "I think he's trying to kill me!". And now I would say the same (tongue in cheek, of course).
We are back to hypertrophy. 10 reps....and my heart felt like it was exploding out of my chest. And it's not that the speed made it cardio; just... whoa. 153 BPM is a lot for me unless I am doing sprints (bike or treadmill), but I officially achieved that squatting. I was so sure that it was more like torture than usual that I checked to see if we had done 10 reps before, and indeed, last hypertrophy cycle we did. A bit less weight, of course, but essentially same deal.
So at least I know I'll get over it quick, since I could not remember and it was just September. :)
I am really tired, but my head feels energetic, so that’s good. And I was a bit nauseous after, actually. And really hungry. And sitting down is basically just a small bend at the hip and then letting go (as my hamstrings are also rather sore, and don’t really want to be holding any weight in a bend).
And yet… still happy. Go figure.
Tomorrow is the first day back at work in 2017... all of the festivities and extra free time over. Back to routine.
I almost hesitate to use that word. Routine sounds so ...routine. Hum-drum. In a rut. Same-old. It just sounds so unintentional.
And I don't think of it that way at all. As I prep lunch, planned for work and the gym, it's all very intentional. I'm not just going along with the flow, but taking charge of what I do with deliberate action towards concrete goals.
So yeah, back to routine. But don't get the impression I am just floating about with no special reason. See what Google tells me above/left? Let's call this one a noun.
A nice little "accessories" workout to finish 2016. I'm gonna get me some pretty shoulders. :)
As I was putting the workout in Liftium (app) I got a nice little smile from myself on Decembers consistency. When asked (usually the question is "Do you go to the gym every day?"), I tell people I hit the gym 6 days a week.
And looking at December... seems about right or at least close. But wait! I did 21 of 31 days. That's 67% (I'll spare you the decimals but rest assured I checked). If you pace that against a 7 day week...it's NOT EVEN 5 a week.
I'm not complaining. It's just a little reminder to at least sometimes consider quantifying from fact vs feeling. If you are going to believe a number.....get it from somewhere.